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UK Conference of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology 2021

How to manage biological data and use computational methods to power life science research

Start date:

28 September 2021

End date:

30 September 2021


Online (via Zoom)

Registration deadline:

27 September 2021



About the conference.

UK Conference of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology logo

Modern life science research is increasingly reliant on data science, and a failure to keep pace with computational methods will leave UK life science research treading water.

The UK-CBCB conference will cover the breadth of biological data management, analysis and sharing.

Bringing together biologists, bioinformaticians, computer scientists, software engineers and data scientists across the life sciences, to share innovations, applications and best practice in their fields. Talks will cover data standards, algorithm and tool development, and data curation.

The three-day conference will be applicable to bioinformatics researchers working on core services or in research teams as well as computer scientists or bioinformaticians developing tools or maintaining data resources.

Registration is now open, as well as abstract submission (see the further information tab for more details)

Conference sessions:

  • Structural Bioinformatics - analysis and prediction of three-dimensional molecular structures
  • Metagenomics and Microbial Bioinformatics - the diversity and complexity of microbial genomes and identification in environmental samples
  • Research Data Management - approaches for validation, storage and protection of data under the FAIR principles
  • Bridging Genotype to Phenotype - computational approaches to deciphering the complex interactions between genotype and environment and how these affect phenotype
  • Computational Proteomics and Metabolomics - harnessing large-scale studies to determine protein and metabolite function for the discovery of biomarkers
  • Artificial Intelligence - exploring innovative applications of artificial intelligence for the exploration of complex biological data

There will also be a workshop session: UKRI Innovation Scholars - Data Science Training in Health and Bioscience.


Alongside the UK-CBCB, we are hosting the annual ELIXIR-UK All Hands. This meeting brings together people working at ELIXIR-UK consortium member institutions to:

  • Share knowledge and experience from the previous year of ELIXIR activities
  • Network with other people working on life science data infrastructure across the UK
  • Work together to develop strategy for the future of ELIXIR-UK

All members of ELIXIR-UK consortium member institutions working on ELIXIR-related projects are welcome to join a pre-conference meeting, and all UK-CBCB attendees are welcome to join the workshop session: UKRI Innovation Scholars - Data Science Training in Health and Bioscience.


Day 1

Tuesday 28 September 2021

10.00 - 10.15

Welcome from Conference Chair, Neil Hall, Earlham Institute

10.15 - 11.45

Session 1 - Research Data Management, chaired by Rob Davey (Earlham Institute)

Invited speakers:

  • Community building for FAIR data - Connie Clare (4TU.ResearchData)
  • Data Stewardship for the Rothamsted Long-term Experiments: the challenges for curating yesterday’s data for tomorrow’s researchers - Richard Ostler (Rothamsted Research)

Selected speakers:

  • The FAIR Cookbook: recipes to help you make and keep data FAIR - Susanna-Assunta Sansone/ Philippe Rocca-Serra (University of Oxford)
  • Metadata underpinning large scale projects - Alice Minotto (Earlham Institute)

11.45 - 13.30

Poster session in SpatialChat. Posters staffed between 12.00 - 13.00.

13.30 - 15.00

Session 2 - Computational Proteomics and Metabolomics, chaired by Ralf Weber (University of Birmingham)

Invited speakers:

    • Untargeted metabolomics of COVID-19 patient serum reveals potential prognostic markers of both severity and outcome - Ivayla Roberts (University of Liverpool)
    • Deconvoluting Genomic determinants of protein abundance variation - Jyoti Choudhary (Institute for Cancer Research)

    15.00 - 15.15


    15.15 - 16.45

    Workshop session:

    UKRI Innovation Scholars - Data Science Training in Health and Bioscience, chaired by Krzysztof Poterlowicz (University of Bradford) and Robert Andrews (Cardiff University)

    Join representatives from the projects awarded as part of this UKRI grant call to hear about the training they are developing in data for life scientists. This session is relevant to those working in life science data who want to learn more about the future of training, and is especially relevant to people who already run training in data science in the areas of health and bioscience.

    Day 2

    Wednesday 29 September 2021

    10.00 - 11.30

    Session 3: Structural Bioinformatics, chaired by Franca Fraternali (King's College London)

    Invited speakers:

    • Sequence space, deep learning and the protein partner identification problem - Alessandra Carbone (LCQB, Sorbonne University and French National Center for Scientific Research)
    • Refinement of Protein Structures in Cryo-EM Maps: Lessons from CASP14 - Maya Topf (CSSB, Centre for Structural Systems Biology)

    Selected speakers:

    • Proteome modeling; understanding the impacts of mutations on cancer targets - Ali Alsulami (University of Cambridge)
    • Integrated in silico strategies for discovery of therapeutics with a focus on complex immunotherapeutic targets - Auste Kanapeckaite (Algorithm379)

    11.30 - 13.00

    Poster session in SpatialChat

    13.00 - 13.30

    Data-intensive bioscience and artificial intelligence - A funder's perspective

    Richard Brown and Daniela Hensen (UKRI Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BBSRC)

    13.30 - 15.00

    Session 4: Artificial Intelligence, chaired by Sabina Leonelli (University of Exeter)

    Invited speakers:

    • Digital Twin of an Underground Farm - Ruchi Choudhary (University of Cambridge)
    • When big data are not big enough - Sotirios Tsaftaris (The University of Edinburgh)

    Selected speakers:

    • The sum of two halves may be different from the whole. Effects of splitting sequencing samples across lanes - Eleanor Williams (Cambridge Stem Cell Institute)
    • noisyR: enhancing biological signal in sequencing datasets by characterizing random technical noise - Ilias Moutsopoulos (University of Cambridge)

    Day 3

    Thursday 30 September 2021

    10.00 - 11.30

    Session 5 - Bridging Genotype to Phenotype, chaired by Wilfried Haerty (Earlham Institute)

    Invited speakers:

    • Highly Annotated Genomes as a Resource to Improve Farmed Animal Production - Emily Clark (The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh)
    • Epigenetic divergence during early stages of speciation in African cichlid fishes - Eric Miska (The Gurdon Institute)

    Selected speakers:

    • Interpretable predictions of drug resistance from whole-genome sequencing data - Leonid Chindelevitch (Imperial College London)
    • Differential expression analysis reveals miRNA candidates for RNAi-based biofungicide against Phytophtora in potato and soybean - Popi Septiani (Institut Teknologi Bandung)

    11.30 - 13.30

    Poster session in SpatialChat. Posters staffed between 12.00 - 13.00.

    13.30 - 15.00

    Session 6 - Metagenomics and Microbial Bioinformatics, chaired by Melanie Schirmer (Technical University of Munich)

    Invited speakers:

    • Unraveling the mechanisms of phage infection using multiomics approach - Li Deng (Institute of Virology, Helmholtz Centre Munich and Technical University of Munich)
    • Measurement error in microbiome data and its impact on replicability - Amy Willis (University of Washington)

    Selected speakers:

    • Deconvoluting within-sample diversity in M. tuberculosis and B. burgdorferi - Leonid Chindelevitch (Imperial College London)
    • A Tale of Two SalTy’s: Gene Flux and Microevolution in Salmonella Typhimurium Revealed by Whole-Genome Sequencing and computational analysis - Matt Bawn (Earlham Institute)

    15.00 - 15.15

    Closing Remarks from Conference Chair, Neil Hall, Earlham Institute

    Invited speakers.

    Further Information

    Abstract submission

    We are offering the opportunity to present your research at the conference. Please register for the conference first, and then proceed to abstract submission. We particularly encourage PhD students and early career researchers to submit abstracts.

    • You will present either as a ten minute talk, or a poster (via SpatialChat), and can select your preference during the registration.
    • The submission deadline for abstracts is Sunday 8 August 2021
    • All abstracts must be submitted electronically, submissions via email will not be accepted
    • Abstract limits are 250 words (excluding title, authors and affiliations)
    • Presenting author should be highlighted in bold
    • Abstracts will be reviewed within 14 days of the submission deadline and you will be informed of the outcome shortly thereafter

    Terms and conditions

    Please carefully review our standard online event booking terms and conditions prior to registering for this event. Completing an online registration and associated payment process will mean that you are bound by these terms and conditions. Any supplemental terms or changes to these conditions on a per event basis will be included on this page. If you have any queries regarding our events or in relation to your booking, please contact us at training@earlham.ac.uk.

    Have any questions?

    We'll be happy to support you however you need, just get in touch with our organising team.

    EI Training & Events Team, training@earlham.ac.uk